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Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Romeo and Juliet (original 1594; edition 2005)

by William Shakespeare, Joseph Fiennes (Narrator), Maria Miles (Narrator), Arkangel Cast (Narrator)

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18,67518789 (3.77)441
Title:Romeo and Juliet
Authors:William Shakespeare
Other authors:Joseph Fiennes (Narrator), Maria Miles (Narrator), Arkangel Cast (Narrator)
Info:AudioGO (2005), Edition: Unabridged, Audio CD
Collections:Your library

Work details

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare (1594)

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Showing 1-5 of 169 (next | show all)
Sigh. Well, another time through, and I still don't care for Romeo and Juliet. I've been a silly teenager, and I have silly teenagers, I have parents who have been wrong-headed, and I am a parent who is sometimes wrong-headed (some say “frequently”), and I still find the characters here utterly unsympathetic and annoying. In large part, I think, the idea of “love at first sight” just irritates me so much that all the stupidities that follow are just icing on the cake, and that's coming from someone who married her husband after two weeks' acquaintance, so I believe I can claim some experience in the area of efficient assessment of compatibility.. While I fully sympathize with those who find extended dating wearisome, Romeo and Juliet spend so little time in conversation – one joint sonnet does not a relationship make – that their “love” never appears to move beyond hormone crazed obsession. The most tragic aspect of the story is that the nurse and the friar, foolishly indulgent, assist these ridiculous kids in their melodramatic stunts.

As with the other plays I've read so far in this “year of Shakespeare,” I read Garber's chapter on “Romeo & Juliet,” from her wonderful Shakespeare After All, before reading the play. Her analysis did improve my reading, but, sadly, recognition of artistic merit does not always translate into real appreciation. When Juliet wails that she'd rather her parents and everyone else she knows were dead than that the boy she's met just the day before was banished, and, across town, Romeo is lying on the floor of the friar's cell, howling and kicking his heels because there was a consequence for killing Tybalt (who'd have thought?), the play seems to me to shift, not as Garber suggests, from comedy to tragedy, but, rather, into the realm of farce. Overwrought teenagers yowling like a pair of sex crazed alley cats because their romantic evening plans have been overturned hardly qualify as tragedy, and the nurse's eager plan to accommodate them with one night of passion (her enthusiasm for the deflowering of the thirteen year old girl she's raised is just creepy) doesn't help. The “tragedy” is that, instead of sensible friends, these youngsters, deranged with sudden infatuation and lust, have dimwitted adults to encourage and pander to them in their harebrained schemes.

The poetry is lovely, the literary and dramatic effects are masterful, but I just don't care for the story. The final couplet, “For never was a story of more woe, than this of Juliet and her Romeo,” leaves me not with any feelings of sorrow for these violent, petulant brats, but simply disgust.

For this reading I used the Updated Folger Shakespeare Library edition, which is nicely formatted with notes opposite each page of text, and read along with the audio recording by L.A. Theatre Works (2012) starring Calista Flockhart, Matthew Wolf, etc. While I rate this play at three stars for my enjoyment of the story, the dramatic performance by Flockhart and Co. is really superb! Definitely a five star production. So maybe I should rate the play at four stars? (I notice that I previously rated it at four.) Still, my “inner teen” stamps her foot and pouts, and I stick with my emotion-guided three star rating.
*Okay. I forgot LT allows half stars. Three and a half, then. ( )
  meandmybooks | Apr 11, 2017 |
This is a great introductory piece for Ninth grade. This particular work is good in portraying the dangers of infatuation and young love, as well as introducing students to a popular theme within a number of Shakespeare's works--fate. ( )
  alexishartline | Feb 5, 2017 |
I have a hard time grasping why Romeo and Juliet is considered one of the greatest pieces of literature of our time. The writing style is very intricate, but slightly pretentious. I understand that this was written in a different era but some parts are almost impossible to follow because some of the descriptions are so figurative and sappy. Frankly, this corny language is really only used to hide the atrociously tacky and bland storyline.

The storyline is what really bugs me. It's basically the story of two extremely horny kids who have some irrational connection to each other which motivates them to commit suicide. I do not know if this play is supposed to be a satire or not but it is generally considered a romantic masterpiece which makes no sense. ( )
  stefanb777 | Jan 19, 2017 |
As long as you remind yourself that this is teen melodrama and not tragedy the essential vapidity of the central relationship and the frustratingly buried deeper and more complex relationships--actually all Romeo's, with Mercutio but also Benvolio, Tybalt, the priest--don't get in the way of good tawdry enjoyment. Now I think about it, Romeo's like a cryptohomoerotic sixteenth-century Archie. ( )
2 vote MeditationesMartini | Jan 12, 2017 |
Teenage Proclivity for Conjugation: "Romeo and Juliet" by William Shakespeare, J.A. Bryant Jr. Published 1998.
Upon each re-reading I always wonder why Shakespeare does not reveal the reason that the families hate each other. We are told that the households are alike in dignity (social status).  We are even provided with a "spoiler alert" when we learn that the "star crossed lovers" will commit suicide, resulting in a halt to the feuding between the two families. In addition, we receive the clue that the feud has gone on for a long time (ancient grudge) However, the omission of the reason for the feud leaves us wondering and imagining a variety of scenarios--just as Shakespeare must have intended.  I think it is important for an author to leave a mystery for the reader to explore. In Star Wars there was a sense of mystery about the Force, what was it. Are there any reasons needed, ever? The humankind's history is filled with feuds which are completely pointless... "Ancient grudge", servants' street fight -- and general desire to feel better than someone else. Isn't this very pointlessness that Shakespeare intended the viewers to see?
The rest of this review can be read elsewhere. ( )
  antao | Dec 10, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (154 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Shakespeare, Williamprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Andrews, John F.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Baldini, GabrieleTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Barnet, SylvanEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bate, JonathanEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Books, PennyEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Braunmuller, A. R.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bryant, CliveEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bryant, Joseph AllenEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Burningham, Hilarysecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cajander, PaavoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Craft, KinukoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Devlin, JimIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Evans, Gwynne BlakemoreEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Farjeon, HerbertEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Furness, Horace HowardEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Günther, FrankTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gibbons, BrianEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gill, RomaEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gundersheimer, WernerPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hagberg, Carl AugustTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hankins, John ErskineEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harrison, George B.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hatherell, WilliamIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hudson, Henry N.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jylhä, YrjöTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kittredge, George LymanEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kobler, Donald G.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Komrij, GerritTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
LaMar, Virginia A.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Law, Robert AdgerEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Levenson, Jill L.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lombardo, AgostinoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mack, Maynard, JrEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Metzl, ErvineIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mowat, Barbara A.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Neruda, PabloTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Newborn, SashaEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Orgel, StephenEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pérez Romero, MiguelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Raffel, BurtonEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rasmussen, EricEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ribner, IrvingEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rolfe, William JamesEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sisson, Charles JasperEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Spencer, T. J. B.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stevenson, O. J.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Valverde, José MaríaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weis, RenéEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Werstine, PaulEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wright, Louis B.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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First words
Two households, both alike in dignity, In fair Verona, where we lay our scene, From ancient grudge break to new mutiny, Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?

It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.
Good night, good night! parting is such sweet sorrow,

That I shall say good night till it be morrow.
This bud of love, by summer's ripening breath,

May prove a beauteous flower when next we meet.
What's in a name? That which we call a rose

By any other name would smell as sweet.
A plague o' both your houses!
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Romeo and Juliet (the play) ISBN 9780942208665
Romeo and Juliet Director's Playbook (play plus theatrical production sections) ISBN 9780942208658.
Please distinguish between this work, which is Shakespeare's original play, from any of its many adaptations (audio, video, reworking, etc.).
Publisher's editors
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Book description
The most iconic love story of all time, Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is an epic-scale tragedy of desire and revenge. Despite the bitter rivalry that exists between their families, Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet have fallen madly in love. But when the long-running rivalry boils over into murder, the young couple must embark on a dangerous and deadly mission to preserve their love at any cost.

An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring:
Calista Flockhart as Juliet
Matthew Wolf as Romeo
Julie White as Nurse
Alan Mandell as Friar Laurence
Richard Chamberlain as Prince Escalus
Nicholas Hormann as Lord Capulet
Josh Stamberg as Mercutio
Mark J. Sullivan as Benvolio and others
Logan Fahey as Tybalt and Balthasar
Alfred Molina as Chorus
Henry Clarke as Paris and others
Lily Knight as Lady Capulet
Janine Barris as Young Lady, Boy Page to Paris and others
Darren Richardson as Sampson and Peter
Alan Shearman as Lord Montague and others
André Sogliuzzo as Gregory and others
Sarah Zimmerman as Lady Montague and others

Directed by Martin Jarvis.
Recorded at the Invisible Studios, West Hollywood in January, 2012.

Haiku summary
"Love moderately,"
said the Friar to the kids.
Wish they had listened.


Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743477111, Mass Market Paperback)

Each edition includes:

Freshly edited text based on the best early printed version of the play Full explanatory notes conveniently placed on pages facing the text of the play Scene-by-scene plot summaries A key to famous lines and phrases An introduction to reading Shakespeare's language An essay by an outstanding scholar providing a modern perspective on the play Illustrations from the Folger Shakespeare Library's vast holdings of rare books

The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., is home to the world's largest collection of Shakespeare's printed works, and a magnet for Shakespeare scholars from around the globe. In addition to exhibitions open to the public throughout the year, the Folger offers a full calendar of performances and programs. For more information, visit www.folger.edu.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:37 -0400)

(see all 11 descriptions)

Provides the text of the play, accompanied by notes and an introduction. Also includes a section of study questions and a brief biography of Shakespeare.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 60 descriptions

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17 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140714847, 0141012269, 0141335378

Yale University Press

An edition of this book was published by Yale University Press.

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Sourcebooks MediaFusion

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An edition of this book was published by McFarland.

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Urban Romantics

2 editions of this book were published by Urban Romantics.

Editions: 1909175153, 1909175161

Recorded Books

2 editions of this book were published by Recorded Books.

Editions: 1456100025, 1449879675

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